THE FNB Wits rugby side came from behind to beat the Central University of Technology (CUT) 26-22 in Bloemfontein on Monday night to go to the top of the Varsity Shield log.
Wits were once again punished for their poor discipline as CUT fullback Andre le Roux slotted four penalties in the first half. Discipline has been a recurring Achilles heel for Wits all season but, what they lack in composure they more than make up for it with their ability to score tries as was the case in the match against UKZN last week.
Inside centre Rudolf Prinsloo scored to keep Wits in the game, and a penalty from the same player meant that Wits went into the break 8-12 down.
Another penalty from Prinsloo early in the second half brought the score to within a point. Wits then took the lead for the first time in the match after a try from scrumhalf Brent Crossley was converted.
This was a massive moment for Crossley and the Wits coaching staff as it proved that Wits have depth at number 9 as they were without their captain and playmaker David Turnbull because of injury.
Both sides traded tries through CUT inside centre Maphelo Mponod and the subsequent conversion gave the lead back to CUT. Wits once again took the lead through a Prinsloo penalty and when Riaan Arends, who has had a sensational debut season, scored, the win was sealed.
Wits held on to the lead and now move to the top of the Varsity Shield, one point ahead of their rivals from Bloemfontein. CUT, however, have a game in hand. Wits are not in action in the final round of the regular season as they have a bye and will be hoping that UKZN do them a favour.
CUT travel to Pietermaritzburg on Monday and if they lose Wits will finish top of the log. This would mean that the final will be played at Wits which would be a major advantage.